Conversational Analysis as a Method for Research on Intercultural Learning: A Report on a Project with the Aim of "Learning by Undertaking Research"

Gabriele Berkenbusch


Conversational analysis—situated between pragmatic linguistics and qualitative empirical research—is a complex method, which needs a lot of time and dedication. It is necessary to develop a so-called “analytical mentality”. The aim of the project presented in this paper was to develop the theoretical insights and the practical skills of a group of students for this kind of research. They worked together throughout the duration of the project, especially in the collec¬tion of empiric material: i.e. the recording of conversations between foreign and German stu¬dents, the transcription of the material, a group discussion on the data and finally its analysis.
This articles aims at showing what students can learn by doing this kind of work, based on examples of the collected empirical material: (1) they will be introduced to the different levels and stages of the research process and have the chance to develop a methodical and methodological competence; (2) their general communicative competences and their special competences of the foreign language will increase, as well as (3) their knowledge of intercultural learning by working with authentic data of intercultural communication. So, for instance, stereotypes and how they have been constructed during the interaction may be analysed and precisely described on a micro-analytical level.
URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0901335


conversational analysis; intercultural learning; learning by investigating


Copyright (c) 2009 Gabriele Berkenbusch

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